How to set up CrashPlan Cloud Backup headless on a Synology NAS

How does it work?

After installing the software on your computer, enter your email address (twice), followed by your Chapman password. The software will automatically start backing up the device. After the first full backup, your files are scanned for changes and automatically protected every 15 minutes, assuming your computer is connected to the Internet.

Restoring Files

Mac OSX

  1. Click on the C in the menu bar
  2. Click on the gear button and click Open Code42 CrashPlan
  3. Login with your Gustavus credentials
  4. Browse the folders
  5. Check the box next to the files you want to download
  6. Click Restore

Windows

  1. On your notification bar next to the clock, double click the CrashPlan icon.
  2. Enter your Gustavus credentials
  3. Click on Get Files to the right of your computer name.
  4. Choose the date and time of the desired restore point.
  5. Navigate to the folder and files that would like to restore.
  6. Click the checkbox next to the file(s)/folder(s) and click restore.

From a different computer

  1. Log into
  2. Enter your Gustavus email address and credentials
  3. Dismiss the message about installing CrashPlan
  4. Click on devices on the left
  5. Choose your computer
  6. Click the Restore button on the right hand side (a circular arrow)
  7. Choose file(s) and click restore

Detailed Video Instructions

Data can be restored using the desktop client and website. The following page from Code42 describes the process of restoring files.

RESTORING FILES FROM THE CRASHPLAN APP

User Guide

Video

Prioritizing files for backup

Of course, you probably have more than one file on your computer that you’d like backed up. CrashPlan can’t back up all files simultaneously, so how does it decide what to work on first? CrashPlan is designed to back up the newest and most recently changed files first. This ensures that the most recent versions of your files — what you’re working on right now — are backed up as soon as possible. The priority order looks like this:

  1. Newer, smaller files
  2. Newer, larger files
  3. Older, smaller files
  4. Older, larger files

Whenever a file is added or modified, CrashPlan adds it to its backup “To do” list. Changes are added to the backup based on the frequency at which CrashPlan backs up new versions, which by default is every 15 minutes. You can change this default setting under Settings > Backup > Frequency and versions: > [ Configure … ] > Backup frequency > New version.

Backing up very large files If you have very large files that change frequently (such as multiple-GB virtual machine disks) and it seems like backup never completes, try creating a “backup set” for those large files with a longer “New version” interval. This gives CrashPlan more time to back up other files before it needs to back up the changes within the very large file or files.

How do(es) I/my department request the CrashPlan service?

To order the CrashPlan backup service for a university-owned computer, log on to the RemedyForce Help Request System and click on CrashPlan Licensing Request. On that form, a supervisor can provide information about the user to subscribe, and also include the Drexel Cost Center to charge the annual subscription to.

Backup sets (only with software version 3+)

If you choose to enable “Backup sets”,

If you choose to enable “Backup sets”, you can specify backup priority. The goal is still to back up all your files to at least one destination first. Then, CrashPlan works on redundancy to back up your files to additional destinations. As long as one destination in the set is complete, CrashPlan moves on to back up other, less complete sets. When you have “Backup sets” enabled, CrashPlan follows these rules:

  1. Backup set priority
  2. Destination’s connection type (local folder, then LAN/local network, then WAN/across the internet)
  3. Percent complete to that destination

Multiple backup sets with a single destination When multiple backup sets back up to a single destination, there are special considerations for file exclusions and frequency and version settings.

Won’t the backup process slow down my computer?

You can expect the first backup of all your files to take some time. Once the initial backup is completed, however, CrashPlan runs in the background with no loss of speed to your computer’s operation.

Gathering the connection key (guid) from the remote computer

The connection key is located within the .ui_info file. The format of this file is <port>,<guid>,<target> — you only need the <guid> portion.

.ui_info file locations:

  • Windows: %ProgramData%\CrashPlan\.ui_info
  • Linux: /var/lib/crashplan/.ui_info
  • Mac: /Library/Application Support/CrashPlan/.ui_info (need to have finder set to show hidden files)

Background

CrashPlan uses the conf\perties and %ProgramData%\CrashPlan\conf\ui_%USERNAME%.properties files to determine where it should connect and a key (guid from .ui_info) to authenticate that connection (as of CrashPlan 4.3). UISwapper.bat updates the .ui_info and ui_[USERNAME].properties files to redirect CrashPlan to another computer.

UISwapper.bat also monitors changes to the .identity file as a precaution. If this file substantially changes, it could mean that file changes outside what UISwapper.bat is monitoring will cause your local instance to stop working. Because of this and the newness of this new security system, I’ve built in a fail-safe to halt UISwapper.bat until you can manually verify connectivity and functionality of your local instance (and backup files as needed). This feature may go away in the future if I’m able to determine it really isn’t needed.

IMPORTANT: The first time you run UISwapper.bat it will create “.local” versions of the four files mentioned above. BEFORE running UISwapper.bat for the first time, verify that these .local files do not exist and that your CrashPlan UI is connecting to your local instance without issue.

NOTE: The changes made by UISwapper.bat do not affect your CrashPlan Tray icon. That will always display information for your local instance.

CrashPlan Bug in 4.3.0

As I recently discovered (on 9/22/2015), there is a bug within CrashPlan if you change the listening port even under the supported procedure (e.g. Known Conflict Between The CrashPlan App And Juniper Network Connect On Windows). The bug is that when you change the listening port, the %ProgramData%\CrashPlan\conf\ui_%USERNAME%.properties file is not properly updated to reflect the change. While this doesn’t break the CrashPlan service itself, it prevents the UI from connecting to the local instance.

I have written a procedure within UISwapper.bat that detects a port change and will fix the %ProgramData%\CrashPlan\conf\ui_%USERNAME%.properties file to keep the UI working on the local instance. As a precaution, this procedure will only run on specific versions of CrashPlan. My hope is that the next release of CrashPlan will fix this bug. If it isn’t fixed, I will post a new version of the script to handle the updated version. For the foreseeable future, I plan on keeping the bug fix procedure version-specific to prevent future problems.

You can always fix the bug manually by editing the servicePort line in the %ProgramData%\CrashPlan\conf\ui_%USERNAME%.properties file and restarting the UI.

Can I protect my personal-owned computers?

You may protect your personal computers if they contain Chapman-related materials, however, backups of personal content are discouraged. When installing on a personal device, follow procedures to deselect all files but your chapman content. DropBox, OneDrive, or Google Drive are preferred alternatives.

Chapman employees are eligible for a 25% discount on the home version of CrashPlan. Visit and register with your Chapman email address on checkout.

Troubleshooting

If crashplan backups are failing, try the following:

  1. Have the user launch crashplan and sign in-if it doesn’t launch they may need to uninstall/reinstall (If a Mac-check managed software center for available updates)
  2. Reboot the machine and have the user keep the machine on for at least 24 hours-sometimes a user will turn the machine off and interrupt the backup.

Crashplan is crashing before it completes a backup

This will happen when backing up a large amount of data > 1TB or a large number of files. You may need to adjust the amount of memory available to Crashplan:

Adjust Crashplan Memory Allocation

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